IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says Evander Holyfield should not be prevented from fighting again, despite the 58-year-old having not boxed in a decade. 

The four-time world heavyweight champion returns to the ring in Florida tonight against veteran MMA star Vitor Belfort.

Holyfield accepted the fight on a week's notice when Belfort's original opponent, six division champion Oscar De La Hoya, withdrew from the fight after testing positive for COVID-19. 

But Joshua, who holds two of the belts that Holyfield first won 31 years ago, says he is in awe of Holyfield boxing at such an advanced age. 

“It’s phenomenal, but that generation, like Hearns, Duran, Riddick Bowe and Holyfield, they are a different breed,” Joshua said. “After George Foreman, Bernard Hopkins, you can’t be surprised.  

“At that age, if they have commissioned it, good luck to him, man. Sometimes in life you just have to support people for who they are.  

“We all have opinions, but if this is what he wants to do, we just have to pat him on the back and say ‘go for it’.  

“A man on a mission is someone who cannot be stopped and he is going for it. So good luck to him.” 

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.